The U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program works with manufacturers to develop and update energy efficiency requirements for a variety of ENERGY STAR qualified products and equipment. EPA releases new eligibility requirements or updates its ENERGY STAR product specifications if new technologies provide additional opportunities for saving energy and money with energy efficient equipment.
The following pertains to EPA’s spec process for Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), Data Center Storage, and Servers V2.0, which are all underway.
Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) – Version 1.0
The ENERGY STAR Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) v1.0 specification will be finalized and become effective in Q1 2012. It applies to nearly every UPS product on the market, from consumer-scale up through multi-MW data center systems. An average ENERGY STAR labeled data center UPS will recoup between 15 and 25 percent of its original purchase cost during its lifetime. For example, the average 1 MW ENERGY STAR system will save approximately 266 MWh of energy per year, equivalent to saving $200,000 over the 15-year lifetime of the product—and many ENERGY STAR products will save even more. With more efficient ENERGY STAR UPS systems data centers can stop dropping kWh on the floor before they’ve even touched the centers’ IT load.
Data Center Storage – Version 1.0
The ENERGY STAR Data Center Storage v1.0 specification will be final and effective in mid-2012. It covers the range of storage products found in the SNIA Emerald™ taxonomy under the Online 2, 3, and 4 categories, including systems composed of both traditional HDDs and newer SSDs. ENERGY STAR will identify the top 25 percent most efficient storage products on the market by their idle state performance and will work toward active power measurement and labeling for a future v2.0 of the specification. Both idle and active measurements will enable customers to examine the energy performance of ENERGY STAR storage systems to better understand and control their operating costs.
Servers – Version 2.0
The ENERGY STAR Servers v2.0 specification will be final in mid-2012 and effective in late 2012 or early 2013. It covers traditional rack and pedestal servers with anywhere from one to four processor sockets and also covers blade servers. Servers that currently earn the ENERGY STAR under v1.1 are, on average, about 30 percent more energy efficient than standard servers. One or two socket ENERGY STAR servers currently save anywhere from $200 to $500 each over their lifetimes—and double that amount if savings from reduced cooling loads are factored in. These savings, as well as those for larger servers and blade systems, will increase once v2.0 is finalized in 2012. Additionally, ENERGY STAR is collaborating with Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) in developing an active power performance measurement tool known as SERT, which will provide customers with information about the energy performance of servers running common workloads.
Less energy consumed at the IT load means less heat dissipated and therefore less energy needed for cooling. For every watt not consumed by a server or storage component there is an additional 1.8 watts or more saved in other locations in the data center, such as cooling or power handling and distribution.
All ENERGY STAR labeled data center products will come with an associated Power and Performance Datasheet (PPDS) that lists product information and detailed test results. ENERGY STAR recognizes that data center products are highly complex systems that require more than just a label to understand their energy performance. All data center products will be tested according to their specific ENERGY STAR test procedure, the results of which will be reported in a standardized format in the PPDS.
In addition to the spec updates above, EPA developed a downloadable brochure entitled TOP 12 WAYS TO DECREASE THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF YOUR DATA CENTER available at http://www.energystar.gov/ia/products/power_mgt/downloads/DataCenter-Top12-Brochure-Final.pdf